New York Public Library’s Project Code - Tech Connect is a profiled program in the Plugging In Report.
Who is served: Adult learners
Number of participants served annually: 1000
Location: 58th Street Library and Columbus Library in Manhattan; The Bronx Library Center in the Bronx
Frequency/Duration: 2 two-hour sessions for 12 weeks. Day and evening classes are available but vary by branch location.
Eligibility Criteria: n/a
Application process: n/a
Skill level: Intro
Outcomes: Acquire the base programming knowledge needed to build a website, and if interested, enroll in advanced coding bootcamps. Provides participants with upskilling that has enables some to gain promotions.
Partnerships: Grow with Google, FreeCode Camp
Sources of funding: Private donors
What makes this program stand out? Project <code> is a free, series-based introduction to computer programming offered through the New York Public Library’s TechConnect program. While most TechConnect offerings are individual classes, Project <code> serves as a more in-depth course for those looking to explore new skills that could lead to a career change. The program is an entry point for students before deciding to take a deeper dive into more technical software engineering classes.
Project <code> has 2 phases. Phase I is a 10-week course designed to get students familiar and comfortable with programming languages. The course culminates in a project where students build out the basic structure of a website using HTML and CSS. Phase II builds upon what students learn in Phase I with additional training on how to develop responsive and mobile friendly websites.
After graduating from the program, “We’ve seen people who have gotten promotions in their jobs,” said Brandy McNeill, Associate Director of Tech Education and Training. “After they’ve got these kinds of web development skills,former students have been asked to take on more tasks and as such has led them to get promoted.”
What do participants need to succeed? No prior coding experience required, but participants should plan to fully attend the 12-week program.
What does the organization need? One of the biggest misconceptions is that the organization only operates online and don’t need people to instruct the classes. TechConnect needs additional funding to hire more people to increase their capacity to offer training.